Successful creatives know how to manage their thoughts and emotions.

It never ceases to amaze me that extremely talented individuals struggle and I mean really struggle with managing their thoughts and their emotions. I’ve witnessed the pain associated with the inability to self manage these vital parts of ourselves.

This was bought home to me recently when I was sharing with a new client who is a successful professional with a well-paying job, a loving intimate relationship and close friends.

BUT she is not happy.



The Habit of Low Self-worth

In fact, she doesn’t like herself much at all. You see, she has been struggling with anxiety and self-worth issues for some years. She is in the habit of thinking poorly of herself.

She is not alone. Many creatives share this common experience.

I was reminded again of how important personal mastery is in living a successful, fulfilled and happy creative life.

For many creatives the lack of self-regulation prevents them from truly achieving success – fear holds them back. Others are wracked with low self-worth, lacking confidence and dishing out to themselves a lot of self-judgement.



Anxiety is Inter-generational

Many suffer various degrees of chronic anxiety. And I’m not just referring to young people or emerging artists. Successful, professional artists and performers of any age can also grapple with negative thoughts and uncomfortable emotions in the midst of their success.

We all know that success and money do not guarantee happiness. 


I believe the one key factor that prevents creatives from reaching their full potential is that they do not know how to manage their thoughts and their feelings.



Doing More is Not the Solution

A number of creative people appear to be actively working to expand their career by doing courses, getting an agent, a professional showreel, a press kit and the like, but in spite of their passion to succeed they don’t reach their full potential.

After professionally coaching creatives for over 15 years and working in the creative industry for another 15, I now know that true success and fulfilment, especially in the creative professions, requires Self-mastery. Without it, it’s near impossible to reach your full potential.


By Self-mastery, I mean the ability to face pretty much anything that life throws at you and to remain present, confident, grounded. 



The Benefits of Self – Mastery

A person who is able to exercise Self-mastery over his or her thoughts and emotions is able to: 


  • graciously accept compliments
  • elegantly manage rejection
  • confidently stretch themselves creatively without the fear of failure
  • dismiss negative judgement
  • devise spirited goals
  • stay motivated
  • build support networks and creative collaborations
  • display positivity and enthusiasm for their creative journey
  • stay committed to reaching their dreams


Without a doubt, Self-mastery is the first and most important development toward creative success. Everything else is secondary.




Monica O’Brien is a professionally trained and accredited Coach and founder of Creative Edge Coaching She blogs on issues about creativity and small business development for conscious artists and business entrepreneurs. 


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